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Managing Risk

Managing Risk Case Study

Locate the proper Emergency Support Function Annexes from the National Response Framework

Resource Center for this Session Long Project. The areas of interest are:


�Search and Rescue (SAR)
�Public Safety

Also, refer to previous readings and required websites.

During a natural or man-made disaster, fires happen, people go missing, and people may commit criminal
acts or become threats to public safety. One only has to remember the Hurricane Katrina episode. Your
Emergency Response Plan includes your local fire and police departments. Memoranda of Understanding
have been drafted so their functions are clearly delineated. Search and rescue falls under your fire

Scenario: A major blizzard dumped 2.5 feet of snow, leaving your town in disarray. Such a storm is rare in
your town. As Incident Commander, you have spearheaded a successful two-day coordination of

essential services that include alternate use of transportation (e.g., procurement of five snowmobiles for
police) and the establishment of alternate communications. However, 75% of major highways and
secondary roads need to be plowed, but there are only five town plows available. The majority of citizens
need to have access to supermarkets and hospitals. List what you will do first. Then discuss your plan of

attack. Reference specific pages in the National Response Framework.


Managing Risk Case Study
Risk Assessment associated with the Hazard

The hazard that has caused injuries to the three employees in the report can be identified
as being due to manual tasks. In the risk assessment, the first phase is to identify how severe the
harm could be by asking questions such as what kind of harm might occur, its severity, and the
effects of the harm (Muffett, et al, 2014). In this case, the type of harm is a strain injury on the
lower back that is not very severe, but might cause him to miss work for up to 10 days according
to similar reported cases. Factors that could influence the severity of the harm include the height
of the packing tables, which are fixed in height. Another important question of this first phase is
the number of people who are exposed to the hazard given that four people have already been
injured. The second phase involves finding out the process through which the hazard causes
harm, which in our case was because of exposure to a low work surface for a long time. The last
phase in the process is to determine the likelihood of people being harmed by the hazard.
Factors that affect the likelihood of people being harmed in this scenario include the long periods
over which people are exposed to the hazard, which is throughout the work day as it is part of the
work process.
The period of exposure to the hazard also increases the likelihood of harm occurring,
which in this case is all the time. The effectiveness of current controls being implemented is also
brought into question given that three previous assessments had been carried out and controls
applied, yet injuries were still occurring. A key area that should be explored is the type of
changes in the organization of work environment that could increase the likelihood of injuries
occurring, which may include factors like working overtime to meet increased product demand.
Other factors in the work environment may also increase the likelihood of injuries such as

increased pace of work or poor lighting. An assessment of people’s behavior at the workplace
also indicates that they may increase the likelihood of being injured by working for way too long
without taking breaks. And lastly, the assessment indicates that differences in the height of
people may increase the likelihood of injury given that tall people are getting injured because of
the fixed height of work tables.

Developing Controls for the Hazard

Level 1 control measures
Control measures at level 1 are the safest and most reliable controls as they involve the
elimination of the hazard in the first place, which is usually possible at the planning phase before
the process begins. However, in this scenario, there is no level1 control as the process cannot be
eliminated because this would mean not doing the manual work at all.
Level 2 control measures
The control measures at level 2 usually involve separating the hazard from the people by
using methods such as replacing the hazard with safer alternatives (Badri, Nadeau & Gbodossou,
2013). In this case the most effective level 2 controls would be to replace the tables in the
dispatch area with table that have adjustable heights for workers of all heights. Another
appropriate level 2 control would be to set shorter work rates for the manual workers so as to
reduce their fatigue and risk of injury like in the past.
Level 3 control measures
Level 3 controls are the best for this hazard as they deal directly with human behaviors
and do not directly remove or modify any physical hazards, which is quite appropriate for this
scenario as the hazard is directly related to human behavior. The most appropriate level 3
controls for this hazard would be to use administrative controls such as assigning supervisors to

monitor the work habits of workers. This would ensure that employees do not overwork and that
they keep the assigned work hours to avoid injuries, which is the control that reduces the risk to
as low as is reasonably practicable.

Intervention points for expert OHS advice

The most crucial part of this intervention is the training and instruction of workers on the
new work procedures that have been implemented to minimize the risk of harm or injuries
occurring as they do the manual dispatch work. I would need expert advice on how to train the
workers so that I can make them understand that by going against the controls, they are not only
hurting themselves, but they are hurting the company and their families (Amponsah-Tawiah, et
al, 2013). This is especially necessary given that previous controls had been implemented with
little to no effect on the workers behaviors as the injuries keep occurring.
Another intervention would be required in the process of understanding the motivation
factors that pushed workers to go against the controls and in the process they get injured. By
understanding the motivating factors for the workers behavior, I would be able to create effective
controls that would be easy to implement as the workers would embrace the controls. I would
need the help of a behavioral psychologist who would help me interpret the behaviors of the
workers and why they would put their health in danger knowingly. The behavioral psychologists
would also help with the first intervention point by creating an effective training program for the
workers based on his observations (Johnstone, Quinlan & McNamara, 2011). I believe that the
training and the research on the motivators for employee behavior would drastically minimize
the hazard, but the hazard cannot be eliminated entirely because human behavior is erratic and
cannot be controlled.
Necessary resources for the implementation of hazard controls

The most important resources that are required for the implementation of the above
hazard controls are in form of human capital. These will basically include the supervisors who
will monitor the employees’ behaviors, the trainers who will train the workers on the new work
procedures and the behavioral psychologist. Other resources include the acquisition of work
table with adjustable heights for the various heights of workers, especially very short and very
tall workers.
Ways to ensure new hazards have not been created as part of the control measures
A crucial step in ensuring that new hazards have not been created in the process of
implementing the control measures is by conducting a review of the measures to ensure that they
have no hidden side effects (Sousa, Almeida & Dias, 2014). In this case, the review process
should start with the assessment of the impact of the new tables with adjustable heights to find
out if they are safe for the workers or they might cause accidents. The next crucial review should
be of the new work and training programs for the employees, and whether the impact on their
behaviors is positive or negative, and once the risks have been identified, they are corrected
immediately. Constant monitoring of the new controls will also ensure that no hazards emerge
without being spotted and controls being implemented.
Storing the information
With the advent of modern technology in form of secure cloud computing, I believe that
the safest method of storing the information regarding the hazards, risks, and controls
implemented would be on secure cloud servers that are also easily accessible and the data can
never be physically destroyed. The data could be easily retrieved through control terminals at the
organizations that are password-protected.



Amponsah-Tawiah, K., et al. (2013). Examining psychosocial and physical hazards in the
Ghanaian mining industry and their implications for employees’ safety experience.
Journal Of Safety Research, 4575-84.
Badri, A., Nadeau, S., & Gbodossou, A. (2013). A new practical approach to risk management
for underground mining project in Quebec. Journal Of Loss Prevention In The Process
Industries, 261145-1158.
Johnstone, R., Quinlan, M., & McNamara, M. (2011). OHS inspectors and psychosocial risk
factors: Evidence from Australia. Safety Science, 49(Psychosocial hazards in the
workplace: Challenges for regulators, Labour Inspectors and Worker representatives),
Muffett, B., et al. (2014). Management of personal safety risk for lever operation in mechanical
railway signal boxes. Applied Ergonomics, 45(Part B), 221-233.
Sousa, V., Almeida, N. M., & Dias, L. A. (2014). Review: Risk-based management of
occupational safety and health in the construction industry – Part 1: Background
knowledge. Safety Science, 6675-86.

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